After 18 years of running from court to court throughout Los Angeles and Southern California, one might think I would grow tired of dealing with people’s problems all day long…Can you hang on just a second, one of my clients just got picked up on a warrant…Give me a moment, one of my clients just got arrested – again…What do you mean your son is back in jail?..You were arrested for driving on a suspended license two weeks after getting arrested for DUI -and your car was impounded – your work car?..You’re out on bail on two different (third offense) DUI’s – and a driving on a suspended license case – and you were the subject of an ABC investigation – you were the (allegedly) drunk patron that the bartender was serving?..These are just a few recent examples of client situations.
One of the things I like most about being a defense lawyer is that every day is truly a new day. Every client is different – often very different and every set of facts is different. While the criminal charges may be the same, the facts are all very different.
Just yesterday I went to court for a young man charged withcar theft. His case has been pending for some time, but due to his extensive record, it requires a bit more massaging before it will get set for trial or get settled. The night before court I got a frantic phone call from his 60 year old mom. She was arrested for domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon. No problem here, she posted bail and we will go to court next week. Therefore, back to the son, right? Wrong. Mom gets arrested again, yesterday. This time she was arrested for violating a restraining order that she was served with shortly after her arrest. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I wanted to.
The next thing that strikes me about my job is that I do not sit in an office all day. The idea of getting up in the morning a fighting traffic to get to a Los Angeles courtroom is not the most pleasing to me. But, with cellular phones, I can get a lot of stuff done while I am driving to court in the morning. I can talk to clients and occasionally prosecutors. I can talk to my investigator and my office staff as well. Mostly what I like about this type of work is that I am not trapped behind my desk all day shuffling paper. I get to go to court, talk to cops and prosecutors and judges, and do my best to try and settle cases often long before they see the inside of a trial court. This is all before I get back to the office in the late morning or early afternoon. Once at the office, that’s where I am able to meet with clients, do my law and motion work and prep for the coming day or days of court.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, being a criminal and dui defense attorney really helps to allow me to think outside of the box. These may sound like marketing buzz words, but because every case and every client is different, no two defenses are the same either. This means, I need to get to know my clients and their particular sets of facts. I need to understand my client’s needs and use creative thinking, strategy and investigation to try and get them where they need to be.
I was recently referred a client (NARS) who is a commercial truck driving in the movie business. He was arrested for his second DUI and was facing a lifetime revocation of his commercial driving privilege. So, NARS did what anyone would do in that situation, he refused to take a blood or breath test, got arrested and then hired me. I went to court, and, as is often the case, the prosecutor offered to dismiss the refusal allegation and offered to let my client plead guilty to a “standard” dui. This would mean he would lose his commercial license and his livelihood – forever.
So what do we do? NARS blew into the preliminary breath testing machine twice before he refused to complete the evidentiary test. His results were .17 and .14. That’s right, both well above the legal limit and I need to get to work. I set the case for trial and try my luck with another prosecutor. Result: The same offer. I answer ready for trial and start playing lawyer. I prepare my motion to keep out the numeric results of the preliminary breath test and file it with the court and serve it on the prosecutor. Result: Alcohol related reckless driving and no loss of driver’s license. Maybe now my client will be able to pay me the money he still owes me.
Being a criminal defense and DUI defense lawyer in Los Angeles is fun, it’s mentally challenging and it can pay pretty well also. I suppose it’s a good thing that I like what I do, because the way things are going, it looks like I will be doing it for at least another ten years.
For a list of results of past cases please check out my website. For honest reviews, by actual clients, check out Avvo or check out my Yelp site. Please look at the reviews that they hide because I don’t pay them.
If you have questions about criminal defense or DUI in Southern California, or you or someone you care about has been arrested or charged with a crime, call me, Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340.